Vote For Mickey Joe

Let’s hear it for FAME, and Yes, Yes, Yes, let’s hear it for Michael Joseph O’Brien, as he takes the stage at the Helix next Sunday in the semi-final of FAME – The Musical. More importantly, this young performer, who is doing Waterford proud as he survives and steps nearer his dream to play Nick in FAME. But folks, he is going to need a lot of votes next Sunday. Your votes and my vote and the city and county vote. Go Go Vote For Mickey Joe!


I’m not sure if the decision to keep the Hanks/Spielberg biggie The Pacific as exclusive to Sky Premiere was such a good idea but the dark grainy hard to distinguish characters further adds to audience doubts.

It takes more than big plans and a seductive theme tune to hold onto viewers. Not being readily able to identify with three unknown lead actors has also been a problem. But episode eight was a slice of almost cinema genius as it followed the life of hero John Basilone, being used in the US to promote war bonds and how he falls in love with a beautiful Italian Lena Reggi in the catering corps. They court and eventually marry and he wants to get back into the war in Iwo Jima. The courtship and love scenes are beautiful and tender and back he goes to die riddled in slow motion and the theme tune plays out in tears as his widow in full uniform stares into a Pacific sunset where they shared their first kiss.

History tells us that she never married again. She lived to be 86 and at her funeral marines carried her coffin and gave her a 21 gun salute.

Lost Ireland

As the crazy world of the TV series Lost finished last week, RTE1 gave us through Prime Time Investigates and The Frontline the awful story of the Lost Irish people who have various types of dementia. The numbing story of a government stumbling from crisis to crisis and failing abysmally to give carers and Alzheimer patients a fair or dignified system of care or carer’s allowance.

The pain and despair was awful to sit and watch and there was example after example of a government Junior Minister in almost denial as a litany of acceptance of cuts, corrections and bailouts of banks and the like while the nation’s vulnerable citizens were reduced to painful statistics.

It is the horrible sense of powerlessness and acceptance of these terrible stories that upsets me. Common, human decency seems to have gone out the window and we are left with a sense that there is a terrible passivity among people who are not directly affected by such diseases and who have pressing worries of their own. Worries and concerns, not of their own making.

Blood Fest

If you glory in gore and Gladiator games then the new series Spartacus on Bravo is all your bloody little mind requires. With movies like Sin City and 300 as an example it retells the Gladiator sword and sandals story of fighter, Spartacus, with all the gut-wrenching groans of amputated limbs, slit throats and blood, blood, blood.

This is a butchery of a series with one of the crudest script of coarse dialogue to go with it. There is also a whole lot of plucking going on as Spartacus plucks fruit in the snow before having marital relations with his wife. But this is a stomach churner and make no mistake about it.

Post TV

Now that ITV have ended the posh end of arts coverage by mothballing The South Band Show (they still show a rehash called Revisted just to ease our withdrawal symptoms. But the BBC sees their chance and have embraced opera in all its diva and mega glory. BBC4 have a short series on Opera Italia that is a blast and a joy of loud music and wild spectacular stories of fat ladies, curly haired tenors who go chacka-chacka with passion and privilege. They even gave us a staple – Stephen Fry on Wagner doing his open-eyed luvvie bit as he revels in the glorious music while trying to excuse the Nazi and anti-Semitism of the Wagner family in their post opera house in Bayreuth. ITV eat your heart out.

B&B Blues

There’s a new take on the B&B business on C4 with Three in a Bed where three B&B owners visit each other’s premises and compare notes on value for money etc. God, but these people were quirky and the styles of breakfast were half and half self-catering rather than a served breakfast and one posh lady put flower petals in food, on the table and down the loo. Having watched two episodes I can understand why hotels are so popular and the prices are not too dear, but it’s a pleasant enough idea and makes for homely and quirky television.

Lost at Last

Me, I’m glad Lost is over, as is Frost, 24, the first Law and Order, Scrubs and Fastforward. The final episode, answered two few questions and settled for a warm fuzzy spiritual feeling with “meaningful” emotional music. Having most of the cast turn up in a well-lit church or chapel was a cop out as was the Jacob and Esau storyline. As Doc Shepherd said – “To remember and let go”, Me? I’d let go long ago.